in Signing of Agreements
Signing of Agreement with the Peruvian Press Council
Speech by CVR President
The task charged to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
is of such nature and dimension that it can only be fully complied
with through the participation of the whole society. The Commission
members have been convinced of this fact from the first day.
This is why we assume the establishment of firm dialogue and
cooperation links with organizations that represent society
as a priority.
Among these entities, the mass media have a particularly
relevant position now. As we have had the chance to point out
in the days concluding today, there
is a substantial affinity between the Commission’s purposes and the principles
underpinning journalism. I certainly refer to the central place that truth
has in our efforts. As we know, our mission is multiple, but it could have
a central task which is finding out the truth on the violence acts occurred
between 1980 and 2000 and expose it before the whole country. To reach these
objectives we need the cooperation of mass media that, like us, has truthfulness
as their flag.
Besides, we must take into account that the facts that we
would clarify are terrible: we speak about unspeakable transgressions
against the people’s
elementary rights; we speak about crimes committed with a degree of cruelty
that is hard to conceive among civilized beings; we speak about deep sufferings
that linger still today in the victims’ memory. If it is so, unreserved
truthfulness must clearly go with another virtue, measure, balance and information.
Nothing would damage this important collective introspection process more than
permitting it to become the pretext for sensationalism, that distortion of
journalism that, even founded on facts, is a way to make truth opaque.
The agreement we sign today with the Peruvian Press Council
is enormously valuable for us, because in this way we relate
precisely with information media that come out in the national
information panorama for their constant and brave practice
of truthfulness and prudence. There is, then, a coincidence
of principles that we are sure, will permit the Commission
to reach the country fairly and on a timely basis as all its
acts and efforts aim at.
We must highlight another attribute of mass media making
up the Peruvian Press Council: they understand that informing
facts is not the only service journalism can render to society,
but that the press has a possibility of promoting morally and
socially valuable causes for public interest and promoting
the participation of citizens in the defense of said causes.
By doing so, the mass media transcend their informative work
to become true agents for strengthening human society and,
This is particularly relevant for the Commission. As we have
remembered, we conceive our task as a collective mission. We
are persuaded that only society’s participation will
permit our work to be truly fertile. Therefore, we trust that
the media making up the Peruvian Press Council will know how
to help us wake the citizens’ sensitiveness on the need
of rescuing truth, of offering moral repair to victims and
of advancing towards true national reconciliation. That sensitivity
is essential so that the result of the process we have started
is received as their own by all citizens.
Likewise, it is clear that the truth we offer to the whole
country must be reached starting from the testimonies of those
involved in violence acts and mainly from the victims. Therefore,
it is essential to have most of the affected participate. We
need their testimonies and cooperation so that the entire truth
comes out. To do so, the clear and simple dissemination of
our objectives and the terms of our call will be of valuable
The agreement we sign at this moment is for us, hence, a
true motive of optimism that we thank deeply. The alliance
being formally established today between
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the mass media represented by
the Peruvian Press Council provides us with the certainty that,
in fact, our efforts
will help Peru recover its historic and moral memory and, from that memory
help Peruvians build a future peace and society that is a space for human
realization for all.
Salomon Lerner Febres
Truth and Reconciliation Commission